In spite of the modern consumer’s predilection for online purchasing (and the evolution of online buyer journeys), a survey of 5,000 U.S. consumers found that an astonishing 93% of shoppers still say they prefer to buy from local and small retailers.
If you’re a small business owner, that means you should definitely be taking advantage of the visibility offered by Small Business Saturday, which takes place this week, November 25, 2017.
Here’s what you need to know about why it matters, and how to prepare – and promote – your business.
Small Business: A Big Market
There are more than 28 million small businesses in the United States alone, a staggering number, outnumbering corporations 1162 to 1. They also employ more than half of the U.S. workforce. And it’s not just the U.S. – these numbers are comparable worldwide. Though large corporations like Walmart and Amazon may appear to dominate the conversation, small business built the American economy.
These tips will help you leverage Small Business Saturday to boost visibility and sales for your business.
- Make a good first impression with print.
As Small Business Saturday approaches, how will you increase your visibility? Will print materials be involved? Does it make sense to print your own? Or will you have to find a printer? What will the cost be? If you’re like most small businesses, you rely heavily on print as part of your marketing strategy.
If your printed materials – say, fliers or sidewalk signage – are a customer’s first impression of your product or service, you can’t settle for anything less than the best quality. The new Versalink business printers and MFPs from Xerox are an affordable way to print your own marketing collaterals, while maintaining a level of quality that showcases your business in its best light.
- Optimize your website and email marketing for mobile.
Busy shoppers will be relying heavily on their smartphones this weekend, so make sure you’re optimized for mobile. If customers click on your mobile ad or offer and go to your non-mobile-friendly website, they won’t be able to read or act on the information. Create mobile-optimized landing pages for different ads and make sure your email marketing efforts are mobile-optimized as well.
- Design a social campaign. Run several social media posts and use the #SmallBizSat and #ShopSmall hashtag to alert customers that you’re participating. To maximize that exposure, consider giving customers rewards for checking in on social media, like a prize, discount or special offer.
- Get listed on local search directories.
When customers search online for what you sell, you’ll boost the chances of being found if you have complete listings in as many local search directories as possible. These include Google My Business, YP.com and Yelp, but there are hundreds of others. Claim your listing on each and make sure your details, such as business name, business hours, address, phone number and a link to your website are current, accurate and consistent across all your listings. (Consistency really counts—it will hurt your business if your address is listed as Street on one and St. on another.)
- Have fun!
This is a day to celebrate why you’re in business, and everything that is great about staying small. Use this opportunity to tell the world about your business and have a good time doing it.
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